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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  July 25, 2011 2:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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process. jury selection is the most important part of this case and we know that prosecutors are going to do their darnedest to make sure that they have a jury that can be fair and neutral in this case. but we also have the history of seven other people already being convicted. so the chances of him being convicted seems pretty great. >> robin, thank you so much. that's it for me. time to turn things over to my colleague wolf blitzer. "the situation room" starts now. >> all right, brooke, thank you. one week to go and counting. democrats and republicans are scrambling to avoid a potentially devastating national default, just days after a stunning collapse in the talks. and we just learned president obama will address the nation. indeed the world tonight. also, norway's deadliest attacks since world war ii. a day in court, alleged motive and why he now says
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and travelers squashed by major airlines. >> but first, to the desperate race against the clock to secure what president obama is calling america's national credit card. the country could face unprecedented default if congress is unable to agree on a deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling. failure to do so could downgrade america's debt rating and could be extremely damaging for global economy purposes. let's get all the angles. we've just learned the president will be addressing the nation later to. kate baldwin is up on capitol hill. first to you. what's the very latest, the thinking behind the president's
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decision to address the nation and the world tonight? >> wolf, the thought was that the president like lly today ha to come out put and exclamation point on a very busy day. fruns and senate democrats, laying out their plans. already today, we saw a statement from the white house press secretary jay carney, endorsing senate majority leader reid's plan. and i'll save the details for my colleague kate baldwin who will tell you about that in just a moment. but the president has already rejected house speaker john boehner's plan. expect him to argue for the importance of moving forward and doing so quickly. talk about the consequences of not coming to some sort of agreement before august 2 and also again to lay out his endorsement of the reid plan. he's rejected the boehner plan as a short-term increase in the debt kreeling that he has already threatened to veto. even though republicans are
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saying that actually it's a two-parter. it's not a short-term plan, the president and the white house, they feel that it is because there isn't a guarantee that a second increase in the debt ceiling would go forward. we would end up in the same point that we are right now. a very protracted, chaotic battle. trying to get the debt ceiling increase when the first short-term one would expire around february or march, wolf? >> walk us through if you can. >> avenue after yet another breakdown in negotiations, now the top republican in the ho us, the top democrat in the senate, they've unveiled duelling plans, their solutions for breaking the log jam and raising the debt ceiling. what it boils down to to is this -- to raise the debt
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ceiling, house speaker john boehner, his plan requires two votes. first, $1.2 trillion in cuts now in order to raise the debt ceiling through early next year. then cuts next year to raise the del ceiling through until 2013. and this is only if congress approves those cuts. that's where democrats say no way. they don't want to see a second vote next year to raise the debt ceiling because they fear we'll end up right where we are today, deadlocked. harry reid's plan calls for only one vote to raise the debt ceiling. $2.7 trillion in deficit reduction to raise the debt ceiling until 2013. that does not include any cuts to benefits and entitlements or new revenue. and this could also come with a possibility of more cuts next year. now, if you want to get a read on just how far apart they are, just listen to how each reacted to the other's plan today.
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>> i believe the plan is full of gimmicks. we're not making any real changes in the spending structure of our government, and it doesn't deal with the biggest drivers of our deficit and debt and that would be entitlement programs. >> the republican's short-term plan is a nonstarter in the senate and in the white house. and certainly the democrats in the white house agree whole heartedly with us. a short-term agreement risks many of the same dire consequences and would be triggereded by the default itself. >> the fact of the matter, wolf, based on early reviews, neither plan has a good chance of passing the opposing chamber right now. >> but as far as you know, they're both going to take up separate votes in the house. they'll take up the boehner plan in the senate and the reid plan and then what? they're going to go into conference and try to figure out
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some middle ground, which is what they would normally do if they had a lot of time. they don't have a lot of time right now. >> that's the big question and the big factor at the center of all of this. they don't have a lot of time and they need to move both of these through both chambers of congress and somehow reconcile them, how they're going to do that. >> let me go back to the white house. it looks like these two plans, they're obviously a senate plan by majority leader harry reid and house plan by speaker john boehner. does the white house feel sidelined or left out of thf process? >> i had this question, too, and i talked with one official who said the president can't be sidelined. he is the president. he has the power of the veto pen. he's the one who says ultimately if something moves. although inthe thought is if he was given a plan that could get through congress, i think the thought is how could he do anything but sign it? but certainly the president and the white house have been very
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much in touch with senate democrats and the roll right now is that senate majority leader harry reid is pretty much the president's lifeline through this at this point. but there's no doubt that constant communication between the president and john boehner has diminished significantly between white house officials and house republican officials. that's diminished significantly. i spoke with a republican source who said that phone call between president obama and house speaker john boehner yesterday was the president who initiated that phone call and so far, wolf, that's the last time they spoke as far as we know. >> yeah, we'll see what happens. we'll, of course, have special coverage i'll be anchoring our coverage. the president is scheduled to speak at 9:00 p.m. eastern. much more coming up. but let's check in with jack cafferty right now. he's got "the cafferty file." big week coming up, jack. lots at stake. >> with all of the ugliness surrounding the debt ceiling debate, it's hard to see how anybody can come out on top in
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this thing. but politics is politics, you know. and it's a high steaks game. and nobody knows the outcome. but know this -- there will be a huge price to pay for someone. president obama desperately wants a deal, but his plans have fallen flat. he's been unable thus far to accomplish his grand compromise between the two parties. house majority leader eric cantor has blamed president obama's fixation on next year's election for holding up a deal. treasury secretary tim geithner said inform an interview yesterday said the president's objective is to take the threat of default off the table through the election. but it's not just the president worried about his future. incumbent seats in both houses of congress are in jeopardy and because of that, soo, too, are the democratic majority in the senate and republican control of the house of representative. there's a lot at stake here. and a lot at stake down the road
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as well. and the average american citizen doesn't even have a seat at the table in all of this. ezra klein says so far republicans are winning this thing because the debt ceiling cannot be raised without their support, but he points out according to polls they don't have polar s popular support be their position. tea party members aren't budging on their promises of no new taxes. democrats meantime are playing degrees. they're hoping to make a deal that doesn't rock the political boat too much. but the clock is ticking, the world is watching and so far that doesn't look like it's going to happen either the question is this -- politically, who staptd stands to win or lose the most in the debt ceiling game of russian roulette? which is what this has devolved into. >> it's interesting that harry reid's plan includes no new tack, no tax increase, no tax revenue, no ending of the
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loopholes for billionaires or millionaires or corporate jet owners or anything like that. it's a major, major concessions to the republicans but they're still rejecting harry reid's plan. because they want to vote obviously next year -- >> well, john boehner said it also doesn't touch entitlements, which is a big piece of our deficit spending. and he also characterized the rest of the cuts as gimmicks, unquote. so there's no meat on either bone so far. it's just posturing and politics. they tier not cutting spending. we have got to spend less money in this country. we are broke. don't they get that down there? >> they do. but how you achieve it is not an easy process. but we'll talk about it. >> the suspect in norway's deadly siege. did he have any help from the outside carrying out the attacks? new details are coming out of
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his appearance in court today. and could u.s. money be funding -- get this -- the taliban? we have details of a disturbing new report.
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the death toll is at 76 in the massive blast and shooting in norway. the suspect behind the attack was in court today, defending his alleged motives. let's bring in michael holmes from norway with the very latest. what is going on right now, 34r50i michael? >> right now, they just had this memorial march. a couple hundred thousand people marched with flowers from the city square down here to the cathedral. in court today, though, it was quite an odd sort of situation early on. the media thought they were going to be able to get in. the police didn't want them to come in because they were
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worried about him making a message to to possible co-conspirators. let's show you how the day unfolded, wolf. >> dozens of journalists from around the world gathered at the courthouse. the judge asked for a closed room. flart references made by the accused in his statements to police and to the court hearing have given statements that require further court investigation, including a statement about, quote, two more cells in our organization, end quote. and that's such investigation must be conducted whoult accused having opportunity to influence them or in any other way disturb it. >> that have plea of not guilty
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could give breivik the stage he so desperate ly requires. the judge banned him from contact with anyone other than lawyers. no newspaper, no television. and he outlined some of the breivik's chilling motives for what happened last friday. >> despite that the accused has acknowledged the actual circumstances, h ehas no pleaded guilty. according to what the court understands the accused said he believes he needed to carry out these attacks. >> judge hager said he told investigators he wished to bring a massive loss to the governing labor party in norway for what he called treason. the kol lonizing the country by muslims. after the hearing, breivik was spirited away until his next appearance in court in eight weeks time.
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>> the maximum time he's accused of is life, which in norway means 21 years. but if after 21 years he remains a danger to society, his sentence can be extended. >> that was the scene, there were probably 200 journalists from around the world. we also hear that breivik theys h eis going to spend the rest of his life in jail. he doesn't think's going to be getting out, wolf. >> what do we think about the missing children still mising? >> they revised the death toll down as you heard today, but there are four still missing
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from the shooting that went on. the police covered every square foot of the place and one of the great hopes was they would find these missing four. yesterday i was out on the water near the island and the reality is that these are probably four people who jumped into the water as so many others did to try to swim to safety and get away from the gunman and they've just disappeared. there were at least eight boats out there yesterday. divers in the water. the norwegian government put a mini sub in the water to try to look for these missing people, but so far no luck with that. their parents are still up there waiting to hear something, which is just heart breaking. i was up there at the hotel where they're having grief counseling up there. >> a dramatic new development in the sexual assault case against
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dominique strauss-kahn. the hotel maid accusing him now speaking out for the first time. >> and she has a powerful story to tell. prosecutors remain on the fence about taking her case to trial. >> she was told luxury suite 2806 was empty. instead, the hotel made say she is saw a naked man appear out of the blue. >> i was like i'm so sorry. i turned my head, he come to me and grabbed my breasts. ne no, you don't have to be sorry. >> the alleged attacker dominique strauss-kahn, she said acted like a crazy man and violently sexually assaulted her. >> i was like stop, stop this. stop this.
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but he won't say nothing. i was so afraid. i was so scared. >> why would she do this if she didn't have a gun to her head? the fear of that was just like having a gun to her head. >> i'm not a prostitute and i've never been called that since i was born. god as my witness, i'm telling the truth from my heart. and god knows that. by going public does she gain any ground with prosecutors? >> the d.a.'s office -- they don't take polls as to whether they're going to bring a criminal case. it's not who has the favor of the public.
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it's if they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they can prove the case. the accuse of justice is served here only when criminal charges are dropped. ms. dia wl o was forced to come forward in order to put a face to the crime perpetrated. >> i want justice. i want him to go to jail. >> one of strauss kahn's defense tactics is to raise questions about her credibility. he's pleaded not guilty, but he's yet to tell his story and so far, wolf, no indications that he will. >> what a story. all right, susan, thanks very much. there's a new feature at cnn we want to tell you about. cnn tv is now streamed live onka
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>> of. >> the president will address the nation, indeed the world on the debt ceiling crisis tonight
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at 9:00 p.m. two minutes after the president speaks john boehner will at dress the nation and indeed the world. we will have live coverage here on cnn of both of these addresses. our special coverage will begin at 8:00 p.m. eastern, one hour earlier right here on cnn. it's going to be an important night in this whole process. lisa sylvester is monitoring some other top stories. what is else is going on. the jury selection began in the trial of warren jeffs. authorities raided jeffs' ranch and removed 400 children who they feared were sexually abused. and the u.s. is trying to search the restart button on stalled nuclear disarmament talks.
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and after months of anti-government protests and unrest, syria's cabinet is approving a law allowing the formation of oppositional parties. the ruling baath party banned op sis groups. activists called the move a little more than window dressing and say the political crackdown continues. just how much does the united states really borrow? where does that money go? can hillary clinton keep worried allies fears in check? power consumption in china,rn
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as the debt steal mate drags on in washington, are you better off trading your hard earned greenbacks for gold? a hard earned look at what you should be doing with your dollars right now. and the fight over the debt ceiling isn't the only showdown that's happening here in the nation's capital. but could this mean cheaper airlines for you. congressman wu is facing sexual misconduct accusations and pressure to resign. you're in "the situation room." where is the mountain of debt facing the united states coming from? let's break it down penny by penny with our own time foreman. a. >> this is the rubick's cube
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that they're trying to sort out on the white house or capitol hill. 6% is interest on the debt over here. 20% is discretionary spending. 55% is mandatory spending. it's money we have to spend because legislation says we have to provide these programs. this is where the entitlement programs are. medicare, medicaid, social security. you get close to 74%, 75%. but over here in the nondiscretionary defense spending, social services, transportation, veterans benefits, things like that. and then 44% other. so figuring out how you squeeze money out of this is all part of the equation, our deficit rises
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like this. it gets higher and higher. that adds to the collective debt, which right now is at $14 trillion. i want you to look at the most important part of this. this is where the dollar is going right now. the simple truth is 40 cents oit of every $1 we're spending right now is borrowed money. this is what has washington scared. 40 cents is borrowed. and if we see in the coming years what we expect to see, which is an increase in those entitlement programs because the population gets older and older, what you're likely to see as a result, over here, even if we lower the debt by increasing the ceiling, it's the same debt, but we've given more head room on it, if we keep spending the way we are and don't come up with another way to produce revenues, we close in on another debt ceiling. the fear is this becomes even a bigger portion of this, which
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means the interest in the previous graphic gets bigger and bigger. this is a bit of a rubic's cube right now. no matter which piece you move, another piece is going to move accordingly and there will be backla backlash. >> almost everyone agrees it's a very, very bad situation. the debt limit battle may be seriously tarnishing the united states's image around the world as well. let's find out a lit bit more on what's going on from our foreign affairs correspondent. >> h i can't stress it enough, not only are americans watching, the whole world is watching. one diplomat said to me, concern and disbelief. looking at the brinkmanship going on here in washington,
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d.c. listen to what michael bloomberg, the mayor of new york city says. friends are watching the spectacle with amazement. foes are watching it with glow. >> from russia to australia to brazil. the world is nervously watching congress thrash out a debt ceiling compromise. hillary clinton doing damage control, admitteding it can be a messy process but -- >> this is how a democrat and open society comes around to making a solution. so i'm confident that congress can secure a deal on the debt ceiling and work with president obama to take the steps necessary to improve our long-term fiscal outlook. >> china, the country ha holds 8% of america's debt, 1/3 of that held by foreign entities according to the commerce department has been mostly
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silent about the crisis. but a u.s. diplomatic tells cnn, we really look bad abroad. and the state department is doing a lot of explaining. >> a lot of countries find our system hard to understand. those are the kinds of questions we get, how long will this go on, are you confident that there will be an agreement. >> but so far, the world doesn't seem to be freaking out, says one economic expert. >> u.s. interest rates have not risen as they would if other countries wanted to ditch their u.s. treasury bonds, and that's a sign, this expert says, they're not as worried as it might seem. >> the ultimate test of whether foreigners are concerned or not is whether they keep the treasuries or not. and they're voting with their feet by staying. they're not leaving. they're staying in the u.s. market. . >> at least so far.
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all bets are off, however, if they end up defaulting. and that's something leaders in both sides of this debate are vowing simply won't happen. wolf? >> thank so much. >> battling for iowa. tim pawlenty taking swipes against one of his toughest competitors, michele bachmann. could it end him a spot at the top of the critical state poll? plus, he's not running yet, but what did texas governor rick perry say that could potentially cost him votes with conservative voters out there? maybe, it's something you haven't seen yet. the 2nd generation of intel core processors. this is visibly smart.
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>> on august 13, the ames straw poll will test candidates popularity and could be a sign of they electability. and as cnn's chief political correspondent candy crowley reports, the stakes are especially high for one candidate. former minnesota governor tim pawlenty is an experienced politician. affable, articulate and not doing at all well in the republican presidential race. stiechls when you look at the race, do you think what is the x factor i'm missing? >> well, people initially get buzz or impact around the media impression. but over the long haul, people look for that impression to be not just somebody who's loud, not just somebody who's entertaining but can they really be president of the united states. >> in less than a month,
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pawlenty needs to show some game in the straw poll. he languishes in state poll, a distant third. he's thought to be spending about $1 million on his straw poll effort. he's camped out in iowa, staking claim on the ground and in the air, running as an underdog. the rap is that pawlenty has no instinct for the jugular, too nice, too vanilla, too go along-get along. lately he's been tuning up, taking swipes at his most troublesome competitor, michele bachmann and her lack of executive experience. >> there hasn't been someone who's been from the house of the representatives to the presidency in over 100 years. >> bachmann whose campaign boomed right out of the box issued a press release responding, real world actions speak louder than the words of career politicians. it's all relatively mild stuff, but in a primary, you don't want to be so tough on a republican opponent you alienate their supporters. but when it comes to a president
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from the opposite party, primaries are a perfect time to exercise one's inner alpha male. >> where's the president of the united states on the most pressing financial challenges oour country on entitlement reform. where is his specific medicaid reform proposal snp where's his specific medicare reform proposal. where's his social security reform proposal. the answer is you can't find him publicly talking about that. he's ducking, bobbing, weaving. he's not leading and that's not the kind of president we need and that's why he needs to be removed from office. >> as tim pawlenty stepped up his rhetoric, h egot welcome news in ohio. ohio isn't iowa, but until august, it will do. >> texas governor rick perry has some advice on same-sex marriage. stay out of state's rights issues. but will that stance cost him
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joining us, the democratic strategist james carville and republican strategist terry hope. thanks for coming in. terry, the polls show that the democrat and the democrats are doing a little better than the republicans on the woel debate over raising the nation's debt. why does john boehner want another vote in campaign season
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if if it will hurt the republicans more than the democrats? >> so he can get the debt ceiling raised in time for this default to be averted. i don't think many politicians would like to go through this process twice, but for the good of the country, i think he's developed this two-step process so that we can get an interim plan in place that lowers the debt of the country while it raises the debt ceiling and we continue talking until the first of the year. most politicians wouldn't want to have to go through this during an election year, but that's the reality we face. >> he's not strong enough in the house of representatives to bring his own party along? is that what you're saying, terry? >> i'm saying that raising the debt isn't strong enough to get through the house of representatives without plenty of strings attached and plenty of commitment to make sure that we cut spending and cut the cost of this government so we don't go bankrupt. >> how much of the blame does the president deserve for this depackle happening right now, a week before the debt ceiling has
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to go up? >> well, i don't know. it seems they can't sur rend render. they keep trying to wave a white flag. this is a complete and utter and total republican route. in my 30 years in politics, i have never seen one party like the republicans have. now they're getting students and elderly people and the environment to pay for it. it's really remarkable. >> he makes a point, terry, harry reid's proposal includes no tax increases, no tax revenue. they've given up on that with the republicans saying no new taxes and harry reid and the white house said they would support harry reid's proposal. >> well, shocking, the american people don't want their raised. and they want washington to get serious about cutting the debt. okay, we're doing that. we're making progress. but you still have to put the votes together and you still have to get agreement and go through this process. i think the prups are winning, i agree with james. but they're not there yet. >> james, how worried should the
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president and the democrats, for that matter the republicans as well be -- i don't know if you saw tom friedman's column yesterday about potentially a third way of moving a third party gaining steam next year. thought on the democrats and the republicans. >> first of all, i just completely disagree that there's any sense of equivalency here. >> and the public does, too, by the way. 70% blame the republicans, 43 to 48 blame the president. it's no way equal. sometimes there's a tendency to equate everything. the republicans will not let the democrats surrender. i think the public is seeing this play out, if you will, wolf. and look, people are -- they're seeing one water wanting to s surrender and the other sigh side wanting to default and they're probably not that pleased with either one. >> if there's a third party that emerges along the lines of ross
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perot, you remember what happened in 1992, terry, does that in effect guarantee barack obama's re-election? >> no, i don't think anything at this point guarantees barack obama's election. in this current process, the american people definitely want this over. but the devil is in the is in the details, and if they find out it's been done the wrong way then everyone who participated in that process is going to pay a price at polls. in my view i think a third party is extraordinarily difficult to organize in this country. we've been a two-party system for a very long time. this is a substantial tea party movement in this country, but i don't see that actually forming into a third party. >> it may not be, james, as difficult as it used to be in this age of social network and the internet. >> no, it could happen. by the way, the public does want tax increases, overwhelmingly they want a increase of tax increases and spending cuts, overwhelmingly, not close. like 65%. >> if people are clamoring to
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have a higher tax bill, i haven't seen it. >> i want to just be clear. the public overwhelmingly supports a combination of revenue increase and spending cuts. >> as long as it's not coming out of their pocket. you make a very good point. it may be much easier -- the other thing they can do is a third-party candidate can tag on to an existing party that has ballot access, run on the green party or reform party or something like that doesn't mean you can't change that around. all things are possible right now, and i think the country is very frustrated. i don't -- there's nothing i would like saying i couldn't imagine that happening. >> terry holt and james carville, thanks. disturbing new signs. billions of u.s. dollars could be winding up in the hands of the taliban. a new d.o.d. report coming up. and congressman david wu, first he remailed a picture of himself in a tiger suit and now he's facing sexual misconduct
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unlike fish oil, megared softgels are small and easy to swallow with no fishy smell or aftertaste. try megared today. not a chilling new indications that billions, billions of dollars in u.s. cash could actually be in the hands of the taliban. our pentagon correspondent barbara starr is following this story for us, following the money, full. what's going on here, barbara? >> reporter: look, wolf, it seems like we are standing here every week chatting about another case of corruption in the war zone. this time a military review of a trucking contract, a $2 billion-plus trucking contract in afghanistan that moves more than 70% of the goods and materiel that u.s. troops need
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at their remote fire bases, moves it all across afghanistan. the military in kabul looked at this $2 billion plus contract and found payoffs and corruption. one u.s. official telling us, and we quote from what he explained to us, that when they looked at it there were concerns about, quote, fraudulent paperwork and behavior, indications dollars were flowing to criminals and the enemy. what we are talking about is a web of payoffs. the contractors who run the trucking companies, hire subcontractors, the subcontractors then pay or police and security officials who pay off the taliban or criminals so that their trucks get safe passage across insurgent zones in afghanistan. is it realistic at this point that any of this will ever change. we spoke to a top analyst about this. >> when you have the, you know, extent of corruption that we may have seen with some of these
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contracts, that's clearly not acceptable and they have to change the way they are doing business, but, you know, like i said, you know, it's unrealistic to think that something like this would not happen given the influence of the taliban, the fact that they are intimidating the population every day. >> reporter: afghan police commander took $3.3 million in payoffs and distributed to insurgents in the form of weapons, explosives and cash, according to u.s. officials. $3.3 million, wolf, in u.s. taxpayer money. >> yeah. it's a lot of money coming on the heels of the inspector general's report last week, billions of dollars winding up in the hands of bad guys in afghanistan. it's pretty shocking. all right, barbara. thanks very much. let's go back to jack for "the cafferty pile." how does that make you feel, taxpayer dollars winding up in afghanistan in the hands of the taliban?
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>> makes me feel exactly how you might imagine it makes me feel. the question this hour has to do with the debt crisis in washington. who stands to win or lose the most in the game of debt ceiling russian roulette? >> the extremes of both parties, liberals on the democratic side and tea party hard-liners on the republican right. both parties will come away from this little dustup looking like uncompromising knuckleheads. that's what they are, starting with the guy in the oval office. the loser will be the middle income americans who really have no representation in washington, people who got an education, stayed out of legal trouble, got jobs that pay enough to support a family and pay their taxes. they are not the millionaires and they are not the poor or the working poor who pay no income taxes but then complain if anything is cut. jerry in georgia writes politically, who knows? probably both sides will claim victory no matter what the outcome. who will really win with examining spending?
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my grandchildren. virginia in georgia writes barack obama and next the democratic party stand to win. i doubt many of the new republicans house members will be back after the next election. most voters don't want people who sign pledges to unelected groups and then choose that pledge over the good of the people who put them in office. pat in new jersey writes i believe both parties will lose because the people of this country are fed up with the inability of our leaders to understand the meaning of compromise. i also feel the republican party is so focused on bringing this presidency to a halt they can't see that their antics are going to cause irreversible damage to our economy. maybe we should have had the leaders of the nfl come in to get things done. at least they are willing to work together to solve their problems. lisa in connecticut writes political and financial tuneists win the most from debt chaos. american taxpayers and their taxpaying children and grandchildren will lose the most whether we default or allow the debt ceiling to rise. at least the war on the middle class is going well.
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barbara writes didn't you see "the deerhunter? k" ""nobody once in russian roulette. >> thank you. to our viewers, you're in "the situation room." happening right now. fast-changing developments in the debt ceiling impasse. new duelling plans released today and now president obama scheduled to address the nation and the world tonight. also, the suspect in the norway terror attack appears in court and now his friends are speaking out describing his chilling transition from earn dearing to extremist. passengers here in the united states were given a price break until a move by the airline ensured a windfall for them. welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. breaking headlines, jeanne moos and so much more just ahead. i'm wolf blitzer, and you're in "the situation room."
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you'll eyes will be on the president of the united states tonight in just three hours. we'll address the nation from the white house on the looming u.s. debt disaster. and just two minutes after the president finishes his remarks, we've just learned this, house speaker john boehner will immediately follow the president with the remarks of his own. our special coverage will begin at 8:00 p.m. eastern and the duelling speeches are coming on the heels of new duelling plans released today that would allow the government to keep borrowing and avoid a default which could happen as soon as one week from tomorrow unless, unless a deal is reached. our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin begins our coverage this hour. all right. jess characters tell us what we're learning right now. >> reporter: hi, wolf. first i'll begin by giving you the highlights of the two different competing pieces of legislation moving on the hill. first there is the bill moving by speaker john boehner, and his plan would break down in two parts. first, it would cut
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discretionary spending by $1.2 trillion and raise the debt ceiling by less than $1 trillion. it would require a vote on the balanced budget amendment which democrats vehemently oppose. it would create a commission to come up with future savings, some of them through entitlemen entitlements, but it's left rather vague, and it would increase the debt ceiling again next year by $1.6 trillion. that is the plan speaker boehner has proposed. over on the senate side, the democrat-led reid plan proposed by senator reid would raise the debt ceiling in one vote, slash the deficit by $2.7 trillion and some of it in spending cuts, but it would also cut $1 trillion from winding down the wars in afghanistan and iraq. republicans object to that aspect of deficit savings. at this point, wolf, it is hard to see how either of these bills gets through both houses of congress. >> jessica, beneath all these numbers, what are the realisticing points here? >> so i've been talking to senior policy-makers on both
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sides, and big picture, wolf, let's dial it back. for democrats it is the second vote. privately they say they will live with two votes on this issue and take another vote in 2012, but they want to avoid this kind of confrontation again, so they say let's make it a vote of disapproval on the debt ceiling, something that automatically raises next year without requiring another fight like this. now on the republican side they are saying, some at least, they don't want to raise the debt ceiling at all. we're hearing that from some people. others say they want more cuts immediately and important to note one key conservative house member just came out against speaker boehner's plan. >> and more i think will be coming out against it as well. what are your sources telling you, bottom line, jessica, about what happens next? >> well, you know, the president is giving this speech tonight, and i understand he will be giving the american people a sense of the stakes and what happens if a deal is not reached by next week. there is a growing sense among some senior policy-makers i've
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spoken with that some are saying they believe this could extend beyond the deadline, and it could take more time to get this done. they just don't see a solution yet. one outstanding question i keep hearing today is senate plan and a lot about john boehner. could republican leader mitch mcconnell step in and find a way at the very last minute to get senate republicans on board for one unknown compromise solution at this point? >> who would have thought it would have gotten that far to begin with. more now with our senior political analyst david gergen and chief political analyst gloria borger. what does the president need to say tonight? >> he's got to keep the pressure on tonight, wolf. he's got to outline the stakes yet again to the american public, and say, look, i sent these people over the weekend to come up with some kind of a compromise, some kind of a deal,
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and i heard that they haven't been able to do it and we need to find a way to do it. he, of course, is going to say that the democrats have given, but i think part of it is just to keep the pressure on the republicans and democrats to -- to get this done because time is running out. >> he'll try to do that and two minutes after he's done john boehner, david, the speaker of the house, he'll address the american people as well. >> the fact that both are speaking shows we don't have a deal and we don't have reconciliation. i do agree with gloria about keeping the pressure on, but i think it goes back to something jessica yellin just reported on and that is it's apparent that we've got a train wreck right in front of us. i think there's a very good possibility that the president will try to extend the process now and not end it on the -- >> timothy geithner says august 2nd, they don't have enough money to pay all the bills. >> i think what the president would say is look, i'm willing
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to accept two weeks or three weeks or whatever the number is, lift the debt ceiling for that while we get this settled because you've got a situation where you've got the reid bill competing with the boehner bill and there's a good possibility neither will pass and given that they will have to find a new alternative and that will take some days. >> i think what they need to look for is really a mechanism, as jessica was talking about earlier, some kind of mechanism that allows for an automatic extension of the debt ceiling so you don't have to go through this again in six months down the line. >> the house won't accept that. >> well, it depends, if it is accompanied by spending cuts that would kick in. i mean, you could make the point here that the republicans have gotten everything that they asked for. they get spending cuts and they got no tax increases. >> yeah, but they haven't got much in spending cuts and that's the point. >> and harry reid's plan doesn't include, he doesn't include any entitlement, no social security, medicare, medicaid which is what
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a lot of the republicans want. >> i don't think there's a chance in hell that the reid plan gets passed in the house, it's not even clear that they have the 60 votes to get it done in the senate, because it sounds good on the surface, but as jessica reported, there is $1 trillion in the reid plan which is seen as phantom savings by a lot of people who look at it. >> because of the wars. >> because we're not going to be fighting in afghanistan and iraq we save $1 trillion. nobody planned to be fighting there. >> and when you say that to -- to democrats, this is -- this is not real. they say it was in paul ryan's budget, so republicans voted for it. >> that's gamesmanship. the s&p won't count it as serious deficit reduction. >> because even if they do work out some sort of deal to at least, you know, get the debt ceiling raised, the aaa rating the united states has may not be aaa when all the dust immediately settles. >> i think the chances of that are more than 50/50 now. >> and the ramifications for viewers watching here in the united states and indeed around the world are very significant if the value of the dollar goes
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down. interest rates go up if there is inflation. there's some serious potential economic problems out there if they don't get this done. >> and that's why public opinion has shifted on this. i mean, wolf, when we started talking about this a couple months ago it seemed that most of the american public didn't really care whether the debt ceiling got raised. now the american public really understands and cares whether it gets raised and looks at congress as dysfunctional. >> even if they get the debt ceiling raised, s&p could still downgrade our rating. that's a real possibility. >> and that explains why the value of gold has been going up as it has over these months. thanks very much, guys. the debt battle isn't just playing out here in washington. 's all being waged on tv with special interest groups adding their voices to the mix through more than a does ads. let's bring in cnn's lisa sylvester who is working that part of the story for us. what are you finding out, lisa? >> reporter: wolf, with congress prepared for deep cuts to the budget, the special interest groups, they have launched an all-out lobbying effort. that includes spending millions
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on political ads. the ad wars have begun. >> i'm a grandfather, a retired teacher and i count on social security. here's what i'm not, a pushover. america's debt has never been higher. $14 trillion and rising fast er than ever. >> unemployment up 25%. the national debt up 35%. the price of gas up 104%. >> reporter: more than a dozen such pitches have hit the airwaves. special interest groups shelling out millions to tilt the deficit reduction debate in their favor. ken goldstein tracks political ads. >> the weather is not only hot, but we're starting to get a lot of hot political activity, both across the very high stakes budget deal and the debt ceiling increase, and we're starting to get the incipient first shots at the presidential air war and that election is not going to happen for another 15 months. >> reporter: the aarp fighting to ward off changes to medicare and social security.
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>> you've worked hard your entire life. >> reporter: the club for growth going after republicans who might be on the fence. >> tell republicans in congress no debt limit hike without real spending cuts and a balanced budget amendment. >> reporter: and the service employees international union shows a car being recklessly driven on a winding road, the ad lambasting republican lawmakers. >> they are willing to risk it all to protect tax breaks for millionaires and oil companies and ceos who fly around in corporate jets. >> reporter: high stakes with impending deadline and billions riding on it. mary cahenry with the sciu says her group is not letting up. >> it's running in six cities. we have hundreds of thousands of our members phoning in to congress. we are doing demonstrations at congressional offices. we have been turning up the heat on the republican leadership. >> reporter: this is only the beginning, a 2010 supreme court ruling that up ended a ban against corporate political
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spending as a violation of free speech opened the floodgates for these kinds of ads. >> special interests have got lot through citizen united, the supreme court decision that allows them to weigh in specifically for or against a political candidate and spend unlimited sums from -- generated from unlimited and sometimes undisclosed sources. >> reporter: now democrats are for the most part going after republicans in their ads. no surprise there, but gop groups are not only going after democrats in their ads, they are also targeting republicans with messages like don't cave. of course, wolf, both sides are trying to win over public opinion. wolf? >> that's what they do. thanks very much, lisa. once again, our special live coverage of the speeches by president obama and the house speaker john boehner starts later tonight. our coverage will begin at 8:00 p.m. eastern right here on cnn. i'll be anchoring our coverage. jack cafferty is here with "the cafferty file."
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as politicians play games with the dead ceiling deadline the quality of millions of people's lives is hanging in the balance and the clock is ticking. republican congressman and presidential candidate ron paul thinks that time may already have run out. on the floor of the house last week paul said, quote, when a country sin debted to a degree that we 'indebted, the country always default. we will default because the debt is unsustainable, unquote. meanwhile, no deal as our politicians continue to appear to have lost sight what they were elected to do in the first place. they argue, they grandstand. they posture. all the time with one eye cocked on whether or not they will be re-elected but nothing is decided. what they are really good at is what matters to them. nancy pelosi left the debt ceiling negotiations in washington so she could go to a fund-raiser in connecticut for a friend of hers and fellow congresswoman who is up for
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re-election next fall. when she was asked about her decision to choose a fund-raiser in connecticut over the debt ceiling negotiations, pelosi said, quote, sunday morning is sort of a time-out. really? there's a general sense of pessimism in this country now, something that i don't remember at least to this degree in my lifetime, and it's not just about the nation's debt. we're in deep trouble. the economy is gasping for air. millions and millions of people are out of work, some of them for a long time, and the future of a once proud and thriving middle class is sinking in quicksand. while washington is out of touch the rest of us are aware of how bad things are. according to a new cnn poll, 87% of americans think the economy is in poor shape and 59% still think the economy will still be poor a year from now. it's 149th year cnn has asked this question, and this is the first time that a majority has been pessimistic about the country's economic future. that brings us to the question
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which is this. are america's best days behind it? go to and post a comment on my blog. wolf? >> might be interested, jack. the president did have two fund-raisers he was supposed to attend tonight, but he's cancelled his participation in them to deal with this crisis. he's sending the vice president joe biden instead. did you know that? >> i didn't, but now i do, and i thank you for that. >> everybody else does as well. >> thank you, jack. a government default and lower credit rating. what would it all mean for investment, and what should we be doing with our money right now? we're going to hear what some experts are saying. also, longtime friends are giving new details about the suspect in the norway terror attacks as he appeared in court today. and we'll also explain how the price of airline tickets almost, almost went down until the airlines made a calculated move. stay with us. you're in "the situation room." woman: saving for our child's college fund was getting expensive.
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[ owl hooting ] things aren't always what they seem out here. like that big fella over there. cost way less than i ever dreamed. i don't tell my friends just how affordable it is cus to them i'm still the big roller, the big cheese, ya know? oh, emmitt. baby, what you doing? y-y-yeah! [ clears throat ] [ deep voice ] yeah, babe. in a second. takin' care of some business. it's surprising just how affordable
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an rv vacation can be. and get a free video. or visit an rv dealer. go affordably. go rving. the suspect in the norway terror attacks was in court today. the judge says anders breivik acknowledged carrying out friday's mass shooting and
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bombings saying they were necessary to stop what he called a mize lum colonization of norway. breivik was ordered held until his next hearing in eight weeks. meanwhile, officials have revised the death toll from the attacks down to at least 76 now. now some of breivik's friends are speaking out describing a man very different from the one they now know as a suspected mass killer. this report from oslo. >> reporter: on his way to solitary confinement anders behring breivik is rushed from a rare closed door session of court. journalists and public locked out of the hearing where authorities say he admitted he kehr i had out the killings. they are anxious to contain his message of hate, one that is already spreading in a 1,500-page justification posted online that reads in part like a
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murder's manual. contrary to his earlier claims, breivik now says he wasn't acting alone. this part of the horrible tragedy that he was not alone, not a surprise for this woman who knows him. >> he's not the loner. he's not the person who -- who was struggling, who had no friends. i mean, he had friends. he was smart. he did well in school. >> reporter: she was a high school friend that is beyond belief that the man she remem r remembered as an entertainer turned out to be a brutal assassin. >> he would do little dances and he works you know, say funny things. you know, it's something that, yeah, it was atypical for someone who looked like that and would sort of make fun of himself in a way, and that was very endearing. >> the attacks have the whole nation reeling, but the
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ramifications of the killings and his online ramblings don't stop at norway's shores. the ripple risks spreading. >> not necessarily norway. a copycat could emerge anywhere really and that is really a problem, not least because this is what breivik wants. >> reporter: right wing radical through the online postings, never seen anything as dangerous as breivik's diatribe. thousands in norway share his anti-islamic sentiment, he says, and discuss their views in internet chair rooms. >> the right wing websites, they provide a greenhouse for extremist ideas because they become isolated, people who do not share these ideas, they tend to stay away which means that there's no opposition. there's no contrary argument so they feed upon themselves.
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>> reporter: breivik's high school friend said she tried to be that moderating voice, stepping in when she saw his anti-islam sentiment harden. >> later it became more extreme and i remember after we all got on facebook we became -- i became friends with him there, and he had some rather outrageous statements there. you can't say stuff like that, that's completely unacceptable. >> reporter: that breivik's extremism was not caught in some greater safety net will undoubtedly become a point of contention. what is beyond doubt is that this nation has changed forever and the closing of the court to the public is just the first manifestation of the price this peaceful tolerant nation will be paying. nic robertson, cnn, oslo, norway. >> the clock keeps ticking on the u.s. debt crisis. the uncertainty has investors on
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edge and wondering what to do next. is there anywhere your investment dollars are safe right now? we're looking at some options. later, a groundswell of calls to resign as another united states congressman falls from grace under allegations of sexual misconduct. stay with us. you're in "the situation room."
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we're just about two and a half hours away from president obama speaking to the nation from the white house about the impasse over raising the u.s. debt limit, and his remarks at 9:00 p.m. eastern will be followed immediately by remarks from the house speaker john
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boehner. i'll be here for live coverage. our coverage will begin an hour earlier at 8:00 p.m. eastern. among the many people who no doubt will be listening carefully, investors fearful of a possible government default and probable credit downgrading if, if a deal isn't reached very soon. cnn's mary snow is working that part of the story. mary, you've been talking to some experts. what advice do they have for investors? >> well, wolf, their advice is simple. don't panic but be smart. as one financial adviser put, it at this point tweaks may be necessary to investment but not major changes. wall street is warily watching the high stakes political battle in washington over raising the debt ceiling. as the august 2nd deadline inches closer with no deal, investors are growing edgy turning to financial advisers like greg olson >> they are asking what effect will the budget impasse have on their portfolio. >> reporter: and what are you telling them? >> most likely nothing. >> reporter: olson says for
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long-term investment likes 401(k)s, investors should ignore the headlines and leave their money alone, but for money needed sooner than that -- >> if there is money that they are going to need in the short term, a year, two years, that's money that most likely should not be invested in equities at this point. >> reporter: so where should they put it if not stocks? cash, says olson, is one option. bonds are another, but with the u.s. facing the threat of a credit downgrade, he is looking towards bonds outside u.s. borders. >> australia. australian bonds paying 5% for government bonds and they are aaa rated, and the australian economy is doing very, very well because of their exposure to china. >> reporter: many other investors are turning to gold which reached a new record. even with those highs, money manager and author steven leeb thinks it's still a bargain.
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>> yes, absolutely. it's sort of like saying is amazon a safe haven or was amazon a good stock at $100 which was a crazy price, now it's at 240. >> reporter: while leeb leads to the bullish side, he thinks investors should have a whopping 25% of their portfolio in gold and related investments, whereas greg olson thinks it shouldn't be more than 5%. both though echo what many on wall street believe. the thought of no agreement onration the debt ceiling is inconceivable. >> no one is going there because we don't want to think about it. after we went through with the lehman crisis, no one wants to think that our elected officials are dumb enough to let this happen. >> reporter: and wolf that sense on wall street that a crisis will be averted might explain what happened in the markets today. stocks did not see the steep losses that were predict over the weekend when lawmakers failed to reach an agreement on raising the debt ceiling. wolf? >> all right, mary, thanks very much.
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let's go more now with a senior political columnist for and cnn contributor david frum and also a former bush speech writer. you said this in your last column over at, that the people who have been preaching the most about the dangers of american decline are right now helping to hasten american decline. explain. >> well, look, if we default on our debt, all of a sudden we get a much deeper fiscal hole overnight and the full faith and credit of the united states will be questioned by our allies, this is not a game that we're playing. that's the problem. not a fiscal crisis so much as it is a political crisis and it's creating fundamental problems for the eye. we need to wake up. we need to address that, and we need to raise the debt ceiling and then begin to deal seriously with our deficit and our debt. >> you're obviously very concerned that this whole thing could still wind up a disaster?
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>> absolutely. look, even if we don't default, the rating agencies could decide to downgrade the united states because of our inability to deal with this political problem. we are losing the ability to reason together, and that will end up being a strike against us. we need to assert american leadership by dealing with this problem. >> hold on for a moment. i want to bring david frum in for just a moment by brianna keilar is standing by, our white house correspondent. i understand you're getting some specifics of what we might be hearing from the president tonight. >> reporter: wolf, i've been speaking with some democratic officials who are familiar with the president's speech, and they say that when he addresses the nation tonight at 9:00 p.m. during primetime, he is going to underline that the nation is in imminent threat of defaultch he's going to underline as well that this is a congressional stalemate, and, wolf, that is a talking point that you're going to be hearing much more from the white house starting tonight with the president and in coming
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days, that this is a congressional stalemate and that the only answer here is compromise. this is coming to us from democratic officials who are familiar with the president's speech. they say that will it run about 15 to 18 minutes. the president is still working on this speech. there is a rough draft of it, but he's tweaking it, as we speak. is he going to outline, wolf, a plan for default because it is long seen that if the white house specifically talks about a contingency plan if there is a default, that that's a very bad sign. no, the president will not outline that plan. also something that i found very interesting talking to these democratic officials familiar with the president's speech, he's not going to issue a veto threat or underline a veto threat of the boehner plan that we've heard put out that would essentially be a -- a first set raise of the debt ceiling in one part, wolf, and then it would leave another raise to take place in the winter. he's not issuing an outright veto threat of that, but these officials say the president has made it clear that he will veto
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any short-term plan, but i still think that's a pretty significant point, wolf. >> and there's obviously a very significant point if you're hearing from your sources, and i just jot it had down, the president is suggesting -- if he suggests tonight, brianna, that the nation, that the united states is in imminent threat of default, that is a huge, huge fear that's going to go out there. the asian markets which are getting ready to open out in asia, it's going to scare a lot of people because until now both the president, the democratic leadership, the republican leadership, they have all made the point that the united states is not going to default. they just have to work out some sort of deal, but this sounds like this is getting ominously dangerous towards default. >> wolf, the president is very much trying to push congress. that's obviously why the rhetoric is being ratcheted up here. this is a very significant thing that the president is going to say. we also expect that he will again restate his endorsement of the reid plan which we've talked
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about, wolf, which would be a or to hear reid describe it would be $2.7 trillion in cuts, deficit savings over ten years without any tax increases, without any entitlement reform, but the president will also make the point, wolf, that not dealing with tax reform or entitlement reform also don't deal with the tough questions that you need to answer in order to get deficit reduction. also, something that these officials told me, wolf, when it comes to the boehner plan which as i mentioned would have a short-term raise of the debt ceiling, at least short term compared to what the president wants which is beyond the 2012 election, white house officials, the white house is confident that as the week goes on and they are bracing themselves for really economic turmoil this week, as the week goes on, they are confident that that argument that republicans are making, they say, will become a very unattractive argument to make, that we should be in this same position here in several months going through the exact same very chaotic debate, wolf.
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>> thanks very much. don't go too far away. david frum is still with us. david, this is pretty scary stuff when you hear the president of the united states if he's going to say that the nation, the united states is in imminent threat of default >> i think there are four things that people need to keep in mind as they watch the president's speech. first as john said, this is a political crisis, not a debt crisis. for all that you hear of the unsustainability of the debt, this is a planet full of people ready to lend the united states government money for ten years at 3%. lenders are confident, it's the borrowers that are a problem. second, people need to understand it is not the debt that is causing our economic problem, and you will not solve the economy by fixing the debt. in fact, it's the other way around. it's the economy that's causing the debt problems that's driving collections down and forcing expenses up. when economy is better, the debt situation is bert. i think third, people need to bear in mind that the president's behavior, as bad as the republicans have been, is now getting as bad. the threat to veto a short-term increase in the debt ceiling,
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that is putting his political calendar ahead of the needs of the country. and the final thing to keep in mind is that this problem is something that really can be solved inside the republican kwong. it is a test of john boehner's leadership. i think he wants to do better than he's doing. this is a question of followship as much as leadership. >> david frum, don't go too far away. john, don't go too far away. our special coverage will begin at 8:00 p.m. eastern. the president will address the nation. 9:00 p.m. eastern. the house speaker john boehner will address the nation two minutes after the president finishes his remarks. the stakes for all of us, everyone in the united states indeed, investors around the world, enormous right now another lawmaker caught up in a sex scandal and resisting calls to step down. plus, product placement, movie quotes and much more and a nascar prayer that's causing an uproar. stay with us. k.
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political stalemate here in washington has left u.s. airlines unable to charge many taxes which should make tickets cheaper, but guess what? in reality there's no savings at all for passengers. let's go to cnn's jeanne meserve who will explain what's going on here. jeanne? >> reporter: funding for the federal aviation administration was cut off friday night because of a disagreement between the house and senate, but one group is benefiting. that is the airlines. what might have been a windfall for air travelers is instead a gold mine for the airlines. the failure of congress to reauthorize the federal aviation administration has left the agency unable to collect about $200 million a week in taxes. that could reduce the price of an airline ticket by about $25 to $50, but most consumers are not seeing the savings because airlines have seized an opening to increase fares.
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>> they are charging the public for a tax that doesn't exist. >> reporter: and pocketing the money. >> and putting it on their bottom line and almost every airline, except for one, made money last year because of baggage fees, because of pillow fees, because of blanket fees, because of food fees. and what i've said to the airline association is you need to start thinking about the customer. >> reporter: a handful of airlines, including spirit and alaska air, are passing savings along to consumers, and one travel expert believes those who have increased ticket prices will eventually have to change course. >> my guess is going into the fall season, which is a little bit softer, they would almost be forced to drop their airfare prices back down. >> reporter: reauthorization impasse is not impacting flight scheduling or safety. air traffic controllers remain on the job, but the faa has furloughed about 4,000 other employees and halted airport
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projects around the country, jeopardizing construction jobs. the main obstacle to an agreement is a program that helps maintain service to out-of-the-way airport. a key house republican says the faa essentially subsidizes tickets up to the tune of $3,700 per passenger. >> the problem with the faa and this extension is the same problem we face in washington. no one wants to stop spending. no one wants to stop wasteful programs. >> reporter: secretary lahood counters that the issues of subsidies should be dealt with separately from the reauthorization extension, but most experts believe that congress isn't going to revisit the issue of the faa until they resolve the much larger dispute over the debt ceiling. wolf? >> all right, jeanne, thanks very much. jeanne meserve reporting for us. charges of inappropriate advances have a congressman facing hot water and facing an ethics investigation. he says he's staying put.
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another member of the united states congress with allegations of sexual impropriety. seven-term representative david wu of oregon is resisting calls of his resignation.
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prion todd is here and is working the story for us. what happened? >> reporter: wolf, this congressman remains in office but the pressure is mounting on him to resign. congressman wu has been troubled by reports of erratic behavior, run-ins with his staff and now an unwanted sexual encounter with a young girl. an embattled congressman sees his own party's support quickly slipping away over alleged it isual misconduct. david wu of oregon faces a possible house ethics investigation requested by fellow democrat house minority leader nancy pelosi. he's also fighting off calls to resign, this after a report "the oregonian" newspapers saying a young woman had called wu's office in the spring accusing him of aggressive and unwanted sexual behavior. jessica brady has been reporting on wu's behavior all year for roll call. >> we know that she's about 18 years old, that she called mr. wu's congressional office back in the state, sounded very distraught on the phone and said that she was the subject of an
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unwanted sexual encounter with him. she's the daughter of one of his old college friends and donor. >> reporter: according to an unnamed member of his staff when confronted by his aides wu admitted a sexual encounter but said it was consensual. despite our repeated aides wu's aides said he didn't want to speak to us on camera saying this is very serious and i have absolutely no desire to bring unwanted publicity, attention or stress to a young woman and her family. this is only the latest twist in a pattern of trouble for congressman wu. earlier this year he admitted he sought medical help after strange behavior during his re-election campaign last fall that he said was brought on by the stress of being a single parent and the death of his father. back in the fall he sent this picture in a tiger costume in his staff, reportedly around halloween and was joking with his kids but a report in "the oregonian" said his staff became so concerned with what they
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skribd as his erratic behavior in public and private they urged him to seek psychiatric treatment. the paper says he refused. how toxic is he right now for the democrats? >> they moved very quickly which just goes to show you they are trying to distance themselves from wu. they remember what happened with anthony weiner just about a month ago when that dragged out and it was a really drag down on democrats. they want to cut this off as quickly as possible. >> now although congressman wu has so far resisted calls to resign, there are reports that he won't run for re-election next year, and, wolf, his troubles go back to 2004 and way beyond. back in 2004 "the oregonian" reported he had forced a former girlfriend, tried to force a former girlfriend to have sex with him. he admitted to it back in 2004. this was back in the '70s. this incident occurred back in 2004. he admitted it and took responsibility for it, three weeks before the election and he got re-elected so his troubles go back a long way. >> see what happens this way. thanks very much for that. a prayer, unlike any other
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we received heard in a long time. what one pastor said at a nascar race. male announcer ] as your love has evolved, so have your gifts. from "i like you." "i really like you." "i love you." "i will always love you." and sometimes a gift says, "you mean more to me than anything else in the world." life insurance from new york life ensures your loved ones will always be taken care of, with 166 years of financial strength -- it's the most selfless gift you can give. new york life. the company you keep. i don't always have time to eat like i should. that's why i like glucerna shakes. they have slowly digestible carbs to help minimize blood sugar spikes, which can help lower a1c. [ male announcer ] glucerna. helping people with diabetes find balance.
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the death of singer amy winehouse remains a history at
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this hour. lisa sylvester is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. >> hi, wolf. it would be up to four weeks before we learn what called winehouse. the london coroner's office announced an autopsy of the british singer-songwriter did not establish a formal cause of death. her parents mingled today with their daughter's fans outside the apartment where the 27-year-old was found dead on saturday. and are you ready for some football? well, members of the nfl players association today unanimously ratified a new deal with league owners, ending a players lockout imposed in march. the owners approved the new agreement last week and the pact will last through the 2020 season, so mark your calendar, the regular season starts september 8th. what is it, wolf, go bills, right? >> go bills, go redskins, go all my teams. thank very much. let's check with jack and the cafferty files. >> the question is are america's
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best days behind it. russ in pennsylvania writes probably. the country has spent too much, has thrown away resources an empire building, and wars. has promised to which in order to manipulate a population. jane writes it sure seems like it unless you're a wealthy person in this country. life is a constant struggle. if i was a young person i would seriously consider imgrating to a country that cared about all of its people, not just the privileged. ginger says is the u.s. like rome collapsing from the inside? it sure looks like it. paul in ontario, the seeds of america's destruction were planted in the 18th century by the founding fathers because they based your country on the rights of the individual, not the collective. canada has fared better in these hard times because our constitution aims at peace, order and good government, which has so far saved us in a selfish world.
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simon in florida writes without a control of government spending and the rise of the crushing national debt, it's all downhill from here. i think people have no idea how bad it's going to get. it will be a government takeover of everything, including their money through oppressive income and excise taxes. pat in michigan writes you've been around long enough to know, jack, yes, our best days are behind us until the next revolution when we take back the country. and lou writes i think the idea of america being the center of the universe is behind us. we've been programmed to believe america is the greatest country on earth all our lives. with increased information at our finger tips, we become more analytical and aware about our place on this planet full of other people. we're pretty great, but we aren't perfect. if you want to read more about this subject, go to my blog, >> see you tomorrow, jack, thank you. president obama right now is getting ready to address the nation tonight laws makers on capitol hill rule out duelling debt plans.
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we'll iron out the scramble for our north american viewers on "john king usa." stand by for that. just ahead here in the situation room, a nascar race career that left lots of people laughing. >> lord, i want to thank you for my smokin' hot wife tonight, lisa. to make a difference in people's lives. [ carrie ] you're studying how to be an effective leader. [ cherie ] you're dealing with professionals, teaching things that they were doing every day. [ kimberly ] i manage a network of over a thousand nurses. [ carrie ] i helped turn an at-risk school into an award-winning school. [ cherie ] i'm responsible for the largest urban renewal project in utah. [ kimberly ] and university of phoenix made it possible. learn more at
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opening prayers are typically very solemn moments, so here's a question, why did nascar drivers, pit crews and racetrack full of spectators get the giggles in nashville on saturday? here's cnn's jeannie moos. >> reporter: it was the best of prayers, it was the worst of prayers. >> lord, i want to thank you for my smokin' hot wife tonight. >> reporter: it was a prayer unlike any other. >> lord in heaven. >> hail mary full of grace. >> reporter: this prayer was full of cars. nascars. >> so we want to thank you tonight for these mighty machines that you brought before us. >> reporter: baptist pastor joe nelms was in nashville giving the prerace invocation. some are calling it the first sponsored prayer, brought to you by -- >> thank you for the dodges and the toyotas, thank you for the fords. thank you for sunoco racing fuel
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and goodyear tires. >> reporter: as one critic posted on youtube, i am certainly not a religious man, but i'm pretty sure product placement in a prayer equals a straight ticket to hell. but pastor nelms isn't bothered. >> i can assure you that there are no endorsement deals but i am not against them. any of them that want to send some money to our church, we'll be happy to use it. >> reporter: wait until you hear how he ended the prayer. >> in jesus name, boogity, boogity, boogity, amen. >> reporter: but what does boogity mean? >> it means go get after it, boys. it's southern for "get to it." >> reporter: it's the catch phrase used by a well-known nascar announcer to start a race, but the prayers started critics' engines. it's making a mock reof prayer. he's just being a clown, he is being sacrilegious. he just wanted to get those who don't go to church thinking. >> maybe not all christians are a stick in the mud.
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>> reporter: admirers called it the best prayer ever. putting the fun back in fundamentalism. >> lord, i want to thank you for my smokin' hot wife tonight, lisa. >> reporter: that smokin' hot wife tonight sure rings a bell. will ferrell playing ricky bobby thanking the lord in "talladega nights." >> and of course my red hot smokin' wife carly. >> reporter: pastor nelms questions he recently saw "talladega nights" on tv and got the idea to use it. as for his wife, she said this to someone who called to complain about the prayer. >> i'm a smokin' hot wife and i don't care how many times he says it, i'm enjoying it. >> reporter: this pastor has no issues with the separation between church and track. jeanne moos, cnn. >> in jesus name, boogity, boogity, boogity. amen. >> reporter: new york. >> thanks very much for that. that's it for me. thanks very mu f